While composting is relatively simple, many presume you need a big yard or outdoor space. Instead, you can compost right on a fire escape, on your balcony, or in shared yard space. Another fallacy is that composting lures bugs and rodents or smells terrible, all of which is untrue if you do it correctly. You can even make beautiful decorative containers with reclaimed wood or pallets for your compost bin.
Composting does require a little bit of additional effort, but the returns for the environment are outstanding. Even if you don't have a lawn and aren't planning to use the composted material to fertilize plants, you save hundreds of pounds of food waste yearly that would typically go straight into a landfill.
If you toss your food scraps into a plastic bag, they are buried in a landfill beneath thousands of pounds of rubbish that will never see daylight. This is because plastic never really decomposes but just breaks down into smaller pieces that require sunlight and bacteria, none of which will occur buried in an ocean of trash. This is where composting can help keep landfills from overflowing.
If you will be composting in a small area, like our apartments for rent in Cayce, SC, the first phase is buying a compost bin at a hardware store or looking up tutorials on building one online. There are some great DIY options, including milk crates, wooden pallets, and plastic storage containers.
A few compost methods exist, but all have the same fundamental requirements. You require a container with surplus air space, a layer of straw or soil (or other aerating material), and all of your composting materials.
You can add most food scraps to your bin. Some samples include aging produce, vegetable or fruit scraps, juicer pulp, eggshells, coffee grounds, and tea bags. Don't use any meat, fish, or pet food that create odors and lure rodents! You also need to use dry material like leaves, grass clippings, newspaper scraps, cardboard, or dryer lint.
There ought to be a good balance of moist and dry materials to decay quickly. Keep the blend moist but not wet. You will probably require a 60% wet, and 40% dry balance. You will also want to mix your compost every few weeks. If you use a small bin, you can do this by jiggling it around or for a larger container using a shovel.
The advantage to composting in a small area is the confined bins you will be employing. This will hold any pests out of your bin and any odor inside of it. An enclosed receptacle also quickens the composting procedure since it keeps the heat inside. Your compost should be complete in a couple of months.
To make it easier, keep an independent compost can or receptacle by your trash so you can toss food scraps in it until you take them to your compost bin to eliminate going back and forth every time you want to throw away a banana peel or apple core. Remember to keep your compost moist but not soaked and maintain a symmetry of wet and dry material, and in about a month, you will have a nice batch of nutrient-rich fertilizer to utilize or provide to friends. Happy composting!